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from Tales from the Trail:

Un-Common culture war over rapper’s visit to White House

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The White House is standing by its rapper.

Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr., who raps under the name Common, will appear Wednesday night as scheduled at a celebration of American poetry and prose at the White House, despite criticism from Sarah Palin and other conservative political figures about  some of his lines, including a song praising a man convicted for killing a police officer and this 2007 rhyme about former Republican President George W. Bush: "Burn a Bush 'cause for peace he no push no button/Killing over oil and grease/no weapons of destruction."

The former Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate linked to an article on the conservative "Daily Caller" website and tweeted "Oh lovely, White House..."

White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Barack Obama does not approve of all of the Grammy-winning rapper's violent or vulgar lyrics, but believes there is much more to the work of the  "socially conscious hip-hop artist."

“The president does not support and opposes the kind of lyrics that have been written about, as he has in the past. He's spoken very forcefully out against violent and misogynist lyrics,” Carney told reporters at the White House's daily news briefing on Wednesday.

from Tales from the Trail:

Looking to cash in on bin Laden bounty? Forget about it

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Now that Osama bin Laden is dead, it doesn't look like anyone will be claiming the multimillion-dollar bounty the U.S. government put on his head.

White House spokesman Jay Carney signaled that no one was likely to receive the $25 million reward, which the Secretary of State had discretion to double, because it was U.S. intelligence work rather than a tipster that led to the deadly raid on the al Qaeda chief's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a week ago.

from Tales from the Trail:

“Minutes passed like days” for U.S. officials watching bin Laden op

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It took almost a decade for the United States to find al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. But when it came to the final act, time went into slow motion  for U.S. officials holding their breath and hoping the raid in Pakistan would go off without a hitch.

White House counterterrorism official John Brennan, a former CIA officer who has been after bin Laden for 15 years, described the scene in the White House Situation Room where President Barack Obama and other national security officials gathered to monitor the U.S. operation in real-time.

from Tales from the Trail:

McCain says Trump having fun, Republicans have serious candidates for 2012

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Republican Senator John McCain, who lost to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election, made clear that he doesn't see Donald Trump as a serious candidate for 2012.

"I think Mr. Trump is having a lot of fun and it's pretty clear he enjoys the limelight.  We have very serious candidates.  And I think that, if Mr. Trump wants to run, he's welcome to run," McCain said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Changing hats

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The national security musical chairs was made official today by President Barack Obama.

On stage was a daisy-chain of Washington insiders who have worn many hats over the years and criss-crossed different administrations. They all report to Commander-in-Chief Obama, who by comparison appeared a relative newcomer.

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama has ‘better stuff’ to do than birth certificate ‘sideshows’

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President Barack Obama tried to put the kibosh on birther speculation by releasing his Hawaiian birth certificate and calling questions about the authenticity of the document a distraction from bigger issues by "sideshows and carnival barkers."

"We do not have time for this kind of silliness," he said to reporters after the White House released a long-form copy of his birth certificate. Potential Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stirred up the controversy in recent weeks by demanding Obama prove he was born in Hawaii, not Kenya.

from Oddly Enough Blog:

The White House can’t afford plates?

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Blog Guy, I'm disappointed in you.

Most of my readers usually are. What did I do now?

Easter came and went and you didn't offer up your usual Goofiest Easter Photo. What gives?

I'm still waiting for our panel of judges. It's down to two finalists.

One shows President Barack Obama talking to the Easter Bunny. The other shows television personality Kelly Ripa doing something very weird with a crêpe.

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Mistakes were made

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Anyone in public office for more than a nanosecond is likely to have words and deeds come back to haunt them. New political realities sometimes demand a new world view 180 degrees from the old one. And then comes the explanation.

President Barack Obama, who is urging Congress to raise the debt ceiling, is finding his 2006 Senate vote against raising the debt limit when George W. Bush was president has come back to bite him. OBAMA/

from Tales from the Trail:

Who are you calling non-essential? Revelations of a government shutdown

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There's always been a lot of talk about the haves and have-nots.

These days in Washington it's about the essentials and non-essentials. USA/

The two classes of federal workers would be starkly revealed by a government shutdown if Congress and the White House fail to reach an agreement on spending by midnight Friday.

Those deemed to be non-essential, an estimated 800,000 federal workers, would be furloughed if the government shuts down as it did 15 years ago.

from Tales from the Trail:

Candidate Obama touts working class credentials

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obama_phillyEvery political candidate has a tale of his hard-working origins -- even sitting presidents with Harvard Law degrees who have made millions by writing best-selling books. And President Barack Obama is no exception, as he showed during a road trip on Wednesday in which he tested out what will likely be themes of his newly launched 2012 re-election campaign.

At a stop at a wind turbine company outside Philadelphia, Obama stood before a giant American flag and pledged to keep fighting for policy priorities like promoting the use of renewable energy. He took off his suit jacket, joked with questioners in the crowd and paced casually on the stage away from the presidential podium.

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